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Miranda Devine: The Concerted Cover-Up of Biden Family Scandals—From the Laptop to China

“There are a lot of secrets that a lot of powerful people don’t want told about exactly how our story was suppressed—how Joe Biden was protected from that information before the election…it’s very high stakes.”

Today I sit down with New York Post journalist Miranda Devine, author of the 2021 book, “Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech, and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide.”

Devine and I explore what we’ve learned since the New York Post first broke the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop in October of 2020.

“I think the Biden family is a sort of model for how China plays the long game to infiltrate into the highest reaches of American power elites,” says Devine. “And Joe Biden was targeted very early on.”


Interview trailer:

Watch the full interview:



Jan Jekielek:

Miranda Devine, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Miranda Devine:

Thanks for having me, Jan.

Mr. Jekielek:

It’s a very interesting time for you, I’m sure, and certainly for me. Elon Musk has said he’s going to release the Twitter censorship files. We’ll find out what’s in there sometime soon, maybe even today as we’re recording. At the same time, Yoel Roth is on record having said that, “Censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story,” which you’ve written about extensively back in October of 2020, “was a mistake.” And he’s even said that the FBI visited Twitter much as they visited Facebook, as Mark Zuckerberg has said. What’s your reaction to all this?

Ms. Devine:

I would guess the chickens are coming home to roost. Finally, people are starting to understand that the censorship operation around the New York Post’s revelations to do with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s laptop was so egregious, that it really amounted to interference in the 2020 election. There are a lot of secrets that a lot of powerful people don’t want told about exactly how our story was suppressed, and how Joe Biden was protected from that information before the election.

There are very high stakes for Elon Musk to say that he’s going to reveal all the details of the deliberation around that censorship operation. And in fact, he’s gone further and said he’s going to reveal the whole massive censorship operation that Twitter was running against all sorts of dissenting voices, whether it be on the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, or around COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns.

There was a lot of information that Big Tech was suppressing on behalf of the federal government. And we know in particular, with this story, with the Hunter Biden laptop story, that the FBI was involved. We know that from FBI whistleblowers, who have said that that there was suppression of detrimental information to Joe Biden within the agency, and we know that the FBI had the laptop from 2019 on.

We also know that one of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, a guy named Tony Bobulinski, went to the FBI before the 2020 election, handed over three of his devices, and gave them a long five-hour interview about what he knew about Joe Biden’s involvement in his son Hunter’s overseas business deals. None of that saw the light of day. Tony Bobulinski was never called to testify at the grand jury in Delaware that was looking into Hunter’s business dealings, and the FBI never followed up with him.

FBI whistleblowers have told us that was deliberate, and that it was a deliberate strategy to bury that information. We also know, and this is quite a sinister development that we’ve only discovered in the last few months, that the FBI went to Twitter and Facebook and warned them about what they said would be a dump of Russian misinformation or disinformation before the 2020 election. Now, our story came out three weeks before that election.

Obviously, whatever the FBI had warned Twitter and Facebook about was so similar to our story that they censored it within hours of publication. In fact, Twitter locked the New York Post account for two weeks up until just before the election. And then another sinister twist, which we’ve only just found out, is that the FBI had been spying on Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s then personal attorney, for two years, starting a month after he took that job as Trump’s attorney.

They had this covert surveillance warrant on Rudy Giuliani’s cloud during the period when John Paul Mac Isaac, who was the laptop repair shop guy from Delaware, had the laptop. The FBI would’ve seen the email that he sent to Rudy Giuliani saying, “Look, I’m worried about this. I’ve tried to get the FBI to look at it. This is what’s in it. It’s very frightening.

It’s dangerous for our national security, can you tell President Trump?” They would’ve seen all of that. They also would’ve been able to see my text messages with Rudy Giuliani, so they would’ve known or had access to that information telling them when the New York Post was going to publish.

Mr. Jekielek:

Absolutely fascinating and completely disturbing. What I’m thinking right now is, let’s go back in time. Let’s go back to those days in early October, 2020. What was it like when that story hit, and you realized that something wasn’t going as planned? Please tell me about that.

Ms. Devine:

We knew this was a big story, and it was a big courageous move by the New York Post editors to publish it, because it was so close to the election. It was going to have an impact, and it was detrimental to one of the two candidates for president. So, very high stakes. We expected that there would be pushback because of that. What we didn’t expect was that Big Tech would weigh in, would unsheathe its claws, show the world its power, and step in and censor the oldest newspaper in the country, the fourth largest by circulation.

And not only do that, but be supported by the rest of the media. And then, shortly after the censorship happened, four days after our story was published, there was an open letter published by 51 former intelligence officials, high ranking people, four or five directors of the CIA or acting directors of the CIA, people like Leon Panetta, Michael Hayden, John Brennan, and James Clapper.

These were people who had had very high ranking jobs and they were putting the authority of their former office into a letter that lied about our story, and said that our story had all the earmarks of what they said was a Russian information operation. And those were weasel words—what the world heard was that this was a Russian disinformation operation.

And of course, that just justified the Big Tech censorship and justified the rest of the media not touching the story. Joe Biden used that letter and that lie about Russian disinformation in his last debate against Donald Trump. He said, “This is garbage. This is just a Russian plant.” It worked for him, and it got Joe Biden off the hook.

Mr. Jekielek:

When did you first realize that this censorship was happening, and what was happening in the newsroom?

Ms. Devine:

Within hours of the story going live, we had kept the story until 6:00 AM, and I think by 11:00 AM, Facebook announced, on Twitter actually, that they were basically throttling the story, pending fact-checking. And by the way, that fact-checking never happened as far as we can ascertain. Because the most obvious way you would do it is you would contact the other recipients of the emails that we were publishing and ask them, “Did you get this email?” And I know, having talked to recipients, that none of them got any question or phone call from Facebook.

That basic fact-checking was never done, and we’re talking about almost two years later or more than two years later. And then, Twitter followed suit immediately. It was more chagrin and shock that this was happening, and that people were accepting it, and that there was just silence in the face of really egregious censorship. But also, we were busy publishing more stories that were coming out of the laptop. It was a very frenetic time in politics right before the election.

Mr. Jekielek:

The New York Post Twitter account was basically halted, so to speak, from publishing.

Ms. Devine:

Yes, for two weeks.

Mr. Jekielek:

So, what was the impact of that?

Ms. Devine:

Financially, it had a big impact. Those platforms are very big dissemination avenues for newspapers and media outlets. Kayleigh McEnany, for instance, who was then President Trump’s press secretary tried to share our story on Twitter, and she was locked out of her account and suspended for that. So, they were really serious about stopping that story being published. And of course, then we couldn’t disseminate any of our other stories. It was a financial penalty, as well as a slap in the face and a frightening overreach.

Remember that just shortly after that, these social media platforms also deplatformed the sitting president of the United States, and that had reverberations around the world. Even Emmanuel Macron, who frowned on a lot of aspects of President Trump was horrified, and he spoke out about that. Because these leaders know that if these unaccountable oligopolies; Facebook, Twitter, Google, if they have the power to ban, censor, and deplatform a sitting president, that’s way too much power.

Mr. Jekielek:

By the way, I read Laptop from Hell. I had never sat down and read the whole thing through, and I just did so recently. My goodness, the amount of information you have in that book, it’s difficult to ingest the volume. One of the things that happened recently is that Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese dictator passed away. I see all these headlines, like in the New York Times, saying he oversaw the meteoric growth of the Chinese economy. I don’t know if that’s the exact headline, but something along those lines.

My sense of this situation is that he oversaw the compromising, by the Chinese Communist Party, of the global financial system, which means the U.S. financial system. I was reading about the Bohai Harvest affair and CEFC China Energy. These are some of the key tools of the Chinese Communist Party has used to infiltrate the global system. It creates a picture of how this is actually done, and how they do things. That’s what I thought was most interesting, looking at it from that perspective.

Ms. Devine:

Yes, the Biden family is a model for how China plays the long game to infiltrate into the highest reaches of American power elites. Joe Biden was targeted very early on by Zemin, actually, when he was the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He went on a trip to China organized by Zemin at that time, and he met with the Chinese Communist Party top dogs, and they took him to an island, I can’t pronounce the name, but it’s the equivalent of Martha’s Vineyard, in China.

There they plied him with information about how wonderful China was, and how China was a rising democracy, and was embracing freedom and just wanted to become wealthy, and that China was no threat. And of course, Joe Biden swallowed all of that. It’s a great tragedy for America that a man like Joe Biden, who is, I would say, a hollow man without any real values, easily bought, and not too bright, should have been targeted so early on by the Chinese Communist Party and have been such a useful tool to them for his entire career. And now he’s president, of course.

In 1979, when Joe Biden came back to America, he was waxing lyrical about China, and what a wonderful place it was and how it was going to be our friend. One of his most famous lines was, “Nothing to fear here. They’re not going to eat our lunch.” That’s a joke. He was so gushing in his praise for China that he was actually mocked by The Weekly Standard at the time for his extreme gullibility.

And that love affair with China continued for Joe Biden. In 2001, he was an influential senator, still chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, and he was instrumental in allowing China into the World Trade Organization. Most of the negativity was coming from his own party, from the Democrats. This was during Clinton’s presidency, and he managed to overcome that resistance.

And so, that marked the end of the manufacturing middle-class of middle America. Ever since then, Joe Biden has had this delusion that he has somehow has some special insight into China. He was duchessed early on by now President Xi when President Xi was vice president, Barack Obama was president of the U.S. and Joe Biden was his vice president. Biden and Xi met several times. You hear Joe Biden often boasting about the number of hours that he spent with President Xi, who is a chemical engineer. Whatever else you say about Xi, he is an intelligent man.

For him to spend hours and hours talking to Joe Biden—and Joe Biden, we know how he speaks, he talks malarkey, he tells tall tales, he big-notes himself—President Xi has obviously made a study of Joe Biden by spending so much time with him over the years. And for one reason—to explore the weaknesses in America, and to satisfy himself of his own intellectual and moral superiority to America. Therefore, Joe Biden has not been a good representative for America to earn any respect from China, and certainly not from President Xi.

Mr. Jekielek:

Something you mentioned, back in 2001, you said most of the opposition came from the Democratic Party. I think that’s correct. As you’re describing all this, this is very much a bipartisan love affair with the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party was an equal opportunity influence peddler.

Ms. Devine:

And still is.


[CLIP] Miranda Devine: The Concerted Cover-Up of Biden Family Scandals—From the Laptop to China


Mr. Jekielek:

And still is. But what you describe in Laptop from Hell, which curiously captures this in some more intricate detail, it’s more the rule than the exception that this kind of activity happens. What do you think? That’s what I think.

Ms. Devine:

Absolutely. Influence peddling is a Washington disease and it’s bipartisan. I do think Joe Biden is a master at it. Because of the laptop and because of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, who I’ve had the opportunity to talk to, and also because of the work of the Republican senators, Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, and they’re tracing the money trail from China, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries into the bank accounts in America of the Biden family and their various associates, I have a very good picture of exactly how Joe Biden was targeted and influenced by, and used by, the Chinese Communist Party through his family.

Mr. Jekielek:

The coverup of this whole situation has become the big scandal, even as much as what exists on the laptop and what we know from there. What do you think?

Ms. Devine:

Absolutely. The laptop may end up being bigger than the corruption story itself, because it involves the FBI, and because how we learned the laptop itself was buried by the FBI. And then, the FBI, and we only have circumstantial evidence really, and we’ll know more when Elon Musk reveals all, but certainly, it seems as if the FBI colluded with Big Tech to suppress the laptop before the election.

And then, you have the 51 former intelligence officials, these top CIA directors, acting directors, whether or not they colluded with the Biden campaign and Democratic operatives, I don’t know, but they certainly interjected themselves into the election campaign to dishonestly traduce the New York Post reporting and say the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation. That was a concerted effort by the security apparatus to crush this story that was damaging to one of the two candidates for president.

It’s really important to remember with this story that people talk about the Hunter Biden laptop, but it’s not about Hunter Biden. He is this 52 year old, I think he says, former drug addict, crack addict, who had a terrible period during most of the laptop’s coverage, of being a raging crackhead, addicted to prostitutes, living this dissolute life, spending vast sums of money and ricocheting around the world, and hanging out with the worst oligarchs and the inner sanctum of the Chinese Communist Party, and the inner sanctum of Vladimir Putin’s court.

It’s just the most bizarre and interesting story, and a tale of great tragedy, because he had his own personal demons. But it’s not about Hunter Biden, it’s about Joe Biden. Joe Biden, he always talks about being the poorest man in Congress, but actually, he lived a very lavish lifestyle. He lives in a beautiful mansion, has always bought and sold houses well above his purported salary, dresses well, his entire family benefited from grace and favor jobs, government sinecures, scholarships, and judge clerkships.

Hunter Biden’s role in that was to be the bagman, to be the guy who would, in his own words, “Give half his salary to his father,” who had to, in his own words, from the laptop, “Support the entire family.” And he became quite resentful of that. So, the coverup is a big story, but also, you can’t lose sight of the fact that this is a story about Joe Biden, and that is why the coverup was so concerted. People who probably would have preferred to remain in the shadows and not have the world know how powerful they were, they decided that the stakes were so high at the 2020 election, that they revealed themselves.

Mr. Jekielek:

The other part that’s very interesting and is exposed by this, the CEFC collapses. Chairman Ye, who heads it, gets rolled up in one of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, because Ye was a Jiang Zemin loyalist. Basically, Hunter Biden gets caught up in the internal political struggles of the Chinese Communist Party, probably not realizing what is going on. It was fascinating to see that manifest, and as that whole thing is being rolled up, you have this play-by-play in the book. It’s really interesting to see how that plays out.

Ms. Devine:

Yes. CEFC, as you say, was the capitalist arm of President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative. During the last two years of Joe Biden’s vice presidency, the Biden family and their various American associates were working for CEFC all around the world, in the Middle East, in Europe, in places like Romania, to help China buy infrastructure, and to buy energy assets. A lot of these countries by then were a bit loathe to allow themselves to be taken over by China, effectively.

And so, what the Biden family name gave them was invaluable. It reassured these countries that they wouldn’t be just swallowed up in debt traps, as China had been doing around the world, that this was the vice president of the United States who was in partnership with this company, so it had to be good. That opened a lot of doors.

Mr. Jekielek:

This is what the family name implied, because Biden himself was not out there making these guarantees, right?

Ms. Devine:

Yes, that’s the interesting thing. The Republicans in the House are now having investigations into this whole affair, and they’ve been at pains to point out that they’re investigating Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s influence peddling scheme. Joe Biden told the American people during the campaign and ever since that he knew nothing about his son Hunter’s overseas business dealings.

But there is just copious evidence on the laptop that he met with at least a dozen of Hunter Biden’s overseas business partners, from China, from Kazakhstan, from Russia, and from Ukraine. He met them in Beijing, and invited them into his vice presidential residence in Washington, DC. He had at least one dinner at Cafe Milano in Georgetown. Hunter organized one in April of 2015, for his father to meet his business partners from Kazakhstan, and Russia, and Ukraine.

The Biden campaign denied that when we published news of that meeting, at least with the Ukrainian, before the election campaign. Since then, the White House has admitted that, yes, Joe Biden did attend that dinner, but they said he only was there briefly, and not for any nefarious purpose. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. He was there.

So, Joe Biden did meet with these people, and therefore, was participating in that demonstration that is important to influence-peddling partners, to the people who are buying influence, that yes, the important person is involved. You’re able to get him to come to a dinner, and you are able to get him on the phone. We’ve never heard from anybody, including Tony Bobulinski, Hunter’s former business partner, that Joe Biden ever specifically addressed any favors that he was going to give to anyone. He always spoke at a “high level.”

Still, he was meeting these people. Still, he was demonstrating his availability. That’s the way the Chinese, and in fact, all influence peddling operations operate. But particularly in China, it was very obvious to Chinese eyes what was going on when Joe Biden, as vice president, flew into Beijing on Air Force Two with his son Hunter Biden in tow.

This was American power come to do private business. Hunter Biden was what Chinese refer to as a princeling. You’re not stupid enough to give the bribe straight to the powerful person, you give it to their family members. That’s what happens in China. And so, that was how the Chinese saw Hunter Biden’s appearance.

To American eyes, there were a few questions about it, but Joe Biden just dismissed those questions. Everyone said, “Well, he’s a good family man. He’s very close to his family. He likes to bring family members along on his overseas trips.” That’s a convenient cover story for the pattern of Hunter Biden’s involvement and access to the powerful people overseas that his father was meeting. It’s a pattern of corruption that’s unmistakable.

Mr. Jekielek:

What do you think Elon Musk’s revelation of the Twitter censorship files, which I keep calling them that in my head, what do you think will come out of that? What do you expect?

Ms. Devine:

What I would like to see is what we can’t get out of Facebook. I’ve asked them, “Exactly what did the FBI tell you to look out for when they warned of a dump of Russian disinformation before the 2020 election?” I have actually asked Facebook a few questions. I said, “Did they mention Joe Biden? Did they mention Hunter Biden? Did they mention a laptop?”

The answer I got back was, “They did not mention Hunter Biden.” That implied to me, well, they mentioned Joe Biden. They didn’t say they didn’t, they mentioned a laptop, that’s the question. I’m hoping Elon Musk will tell us on what date before our story was published, did the FBI go and warn Twitter? And what exactly did they warn them to look out for?

My suspicion is that they were quite specific, because Twitter and Facebook were able to censor our story so quickly, and recognize it as the information that they’d been warned about. I’m interested to know if that information was so specific. It could only have come from their surveillance of Rudy Giuliani.

Mr. Jekielek:

Do you think there’s any possibility that the FBI was had by someone, that they were misdirected about this information?

Ms. Devine:

How so?

Mr. Jekielek:

That someone is coming and saying there’s going to be this Russian disinformation. Someone came to them and showed them information, said, “Yes, there’s going to be this Russian disinformation operation.”

Ms. Devine:

If there was a misdirection, it would’ve been internal to the FBI, because of what FBI whistleblowers have told us, who have also come forward to Senate Republicans and House Republicans and told their stories. What they’ve told us is that internally there was at least one analyst and one agent, who has now left, Timothy Thibault, who was telling other agents not to look at the Bobulinski material and put that information and perhaps other information into a black box where it couldn’t be accessed. They effectively buried it, and told other agents who might have investigated it that it was disinformation. I’m not sure exactly what happened with the laptop, because that was given to the FBI by Joh